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Poster: RHRHomeVideo Date: Mar 28, 2012 1:46pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are any of these PD?

Only three of those titles are American: "The Town That Dreaded Sundown", "Blood Stalkers" and "Death Doll". However, "Death Doll" was only officially released to VHS in the UK and Russia, so not sure if it even has an American copyright.

All the rest of the titles are Italian, and I have already seen several of them on Public Domain compilations. I just want them verified as actually in the Public Domain. Thanks!

This post was modified by RHRHomeVideo on 2012-03-28 20:46:22

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Poster: Moongleam Date: Mar 31, 2012 12:01pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are any of these PD?

The U.S. copyrights of many foreign films have been restored.

At the site of the U.S. copyright office I found something pertaining to The Ghost Galleon aka Ship of Zombies (1974).

The original title of this Spanish film is "El buque maldito".

(the link)

El buque maldito = The damned ship.
Type of Work: Recorded Document
Document Number: V8008P295
Date of Recordation: 1997-10-30
Entire Copyright Document: V8008P295 (Single page document)
Title: El buque maldito = The damned ship.

Variant title: Damned ship
Title appears in Document: # Full Title
[ 1 ] Notice of intent to enforce a copyright restored under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

It appears that the copyright was restored.


For Tenebre, I found this:

Tenebre = Shadows.
Type of Work: Recorded Document
Document Number: V8006P732
Date of Recordation: 1997-12-22
Entire Copyright Document: V8006P732 (Single page document)
Title: Tenebre = Shadows.
Notes: Motion picture. Filed for all rights.
Notice of intent to enforce a copyright restored under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.
Owner: World Audiovisual Corporation, BV. Amarna Treuhand, GmbH; Seestrasse 367, P.O. Box 1304; CH-8038 Zurich. PHONE: 41 1 481 07 07. FAX: 41 1 481 07 05.
Author: Dario Argento.
Date of Publication: 1998-01-30

Variant title: Shadows
Names: Argento, Dario
World Audiovisual Corporation, BV




Each of the U.S. films you mentioned is still under copyright unless it lacks a valid notice and that omission wasn't rectified with 5 years. Being released on VHS has nothing to do with copyright status.

Here is what this forum's legal expert (Video-Cellar) has said on this subject:


These are the only requirements for copyright protection of a US work
in the USA I know. My sources, as always, are years of studying
copyright legislation, copyright office documents, scholarly legal
articles and working with PD material. These are the requirements I
use to judge whether a US film is PD.

Before 1950:
Correct Notice
Timely registration (within 3 months of publication)
Timely renewal (within the 27th-28th anniversary year window*)
copyright could be forfeited if published without correct notice or
not timely registered and renewed

1950 (this is the transitional year for the effects of the 1976 act to come in):
Correct Notice
Timely registration (within 3 months of publication)
OR Late Term Registration (at any time during the 28 year term)
Timely renewal (within the 27th-28th anniversary year window* or the
28th calandar year window*)
copyright could be forfeited if published without correct notice or
not timely renewed

1950-1963
Correct Notice
Registration (at any time during the first 28 year term)
Timely renewal (within the 28th calandar year window*)
copyright could be forfeited if published without correct notice or
not timely renewed

1964-1977
Correct Notice
copyright could be forfeited if published without correct notice.
Registration is only required for evidentiary purposes in pursuing
damages actions against infringers

1978-1989
Notice
copyright could be forfeited if published without notice provided
steps were not taken to rectify the ommission within 5 years from
publication (this could include including notices in later editions or
registration.). If a notice was included registration is only required
for evidentiary purposes in pursuing damages actions against
infringers

1989-present:
Work is created and or published
work is covered by copyright unless dedicated to the public domain or
released through an alternative licence.

*based on the year-in-notice.